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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first is still the best
I can't believe it's been 15 years since I bought my first copy of this album on vinyl, but what doesn't surprise me is how great it is even today. Every song tried something new and started introducing jazz overtones to a 15-year old kid who was straight rock-and-roll. Not only is the music great, but this has to be far and away one of the best collections of lyrics...
Published on January 4, 2000

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to ruin a great CD
I expected a lot from a remastered CD. This engineers version is terrible, or should I say treble. If remastered means add some reverb and boost the treble through the stratosphere then this is a work of art. After I leave here I'm ordering the original.
Published on October 26, 2001 by James L Eastman


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first is still the best, January 4, 2000
By A Customer
I can't believe it's been 15 years since I bought my first copy of this album on vinyl, but what doesn't surprise me is how great it is even today. Every song tried something new and started introducing jazz overtones to a 15-year old kid who was straight rock-and-roll. Not only is the music great, but this has to be far and away one of the best collections of lyrics ever written. Where else do Anne Rice, William Shakespeare, and Sergei Prokofiev come together with a white former punk and his all black jazz band? Anyone?
The Police were great for taking New Wave and mixing it with reggae and jazz to create something completely unique. Sting took it to the next level and, if you look closely at the lyrics and liner notes, took what was just a vacation from the Police and forged himself a solo career. I don't think he's ever been able to re-create the greatness of this album (although Nothing Like The Sun is close) simply because it wasn't intended to do anything but be fun and different. When the Police broke up, he suddenly was forced to think of himself as a solo artist and I think that hurt him in the long run. Going back and listening to Dream of the Blue Turtles is a pleasure that doesn't go away.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to ruin a great CD, October 26, 2001
By 
James L Eastman (Omaha, NE United States) - See all my reviews
I expected a lot from a remastered CD. This engineers version is terrible, or should I say treble. If remastered means add some reverb and boost the treble through the stratosphere then this is a work of art. After I leave here I'm ordering the original.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sting's first solo effort shows a new direction, May 22, 2003
By 
Jack Fitzgerald "JFD" (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
With the release of "Dream of the Blue Turtles" in 1985, Sting embarked upon a new musical direction. This was a definite break with his style with The Police, but Sting has a way of recycling his music. In one way he was getting back to his jazz roots, but in another way he was heading toward the mainstream adult contemporary genre that he occupies today.
Sting also hired a crack band of young jazz pros, including Omar Hakim on drums, Darryl Jones on bass, Kenny Kirkland on keys and Branford Marsalis on saxophone. Sting switched from bass to guitar, but did perform the very cool double bass line on "Moon Over Bourbon Street."
"If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" is a Motown-style song with lyrics that transcend the usual love song, focusing more on the freedom in the relationship.
"Love is the Seventh Wave" has a world music feel and is a plea for everyone to get along.
"Russians" finds Sting getting a bit preachy, but this Cold War era tune has a haunting (borrowed) classical bent and ticking clock and well-intentioned message.
"Children's Crusade" is a sad ballad about the loss of generations of young men in WWI, first to the war and then to the addiction to morphine. Fast forward to 1984 and the image resonates as another generation is lost to heroin.
"Shadows in the Rain" is a revised Police song, with the classic intro of someone shouting 'wait, what key is it in!' and some outstanding drums. This is a great rock/jazz combination.
"We Work the Black Seam" is a complex tune the invokes the difficult life of coal miners, but also digs into the past and the future of energy and what it means to the focal character.
"Consider Me Gone" uses home metaphors about a relationship gone south, backed by a cool swing beat.
"The Dream of the Blue Turtles" is a the most 'jazzy' piece on the disk, a keyboard led instrumental where the musicians get to break loose and have some fun.
"Moon Over Bourbon Street" is Sting's ode to Anne Rice's 'Interview With the Vampire' and features some very cool lyrics like 'I've the face of a sinner but the hands of a priest.' Very cool double bassline and haunting sax work by Marsalis.
"Fortress Around Your Heart" paints another complex picture of relationships, this time using kind of a mainland WWII metaphor as the basis for the issues between this couple.
Not a weak song in the bunch, and it actually gets string in the second half. A definite must have for your collection, and excellent introduction to Sting's solo work.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an audiophile's dream (AUDIO MASTER PLUS SERIES) AM+, December 2, 2008
By 
insoc (Miami, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
I am not going to talk about how good this album is because it is indeed VERY GOOD and you can read all the reviews here. If you are an audiophile or at least you like to hear your favorite albums with great sound quality this is a great album to have. Many audiophile recordings are praised for the quality recording but sometimes the music is boring, dull or nothing special. This album is a great example of how EXCELLENT MUSIC can be combined with EXCELLENT AUDIOPHILE quality sound. As a matter of fact I always use "Love is the Seventh Wave", "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" and "Shadows in the Rain" as one of my stereo system showings to my friends. Sting's voice sounds very crisp and clear and so do the instruments played by the Blue Turtles Band. JUST BE SURE YOU GET THE AM+ AUDIO MASTER PLUS SERIES release. That is the plain, regular and common release. Do not get the "remastered version" because like many other people agree, this remasterings of Sting's albums have not done any favor and have greatly deteriorated the sound quality.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, adventurous, wonderful debut album, July 7, 2006
When Sting's first solo album came out in 1985, there was a lot of buildup, hype and even NERVOUSNESS!--even from fans, music critics and fellow artists. Can Sting do well on his first album away from the Police? Will it have many hits? Can he continue that momentum? I can say that he has and this debut has been responsible for a lot of his solo success the past two decades. It sold over 3 million copies, a huge seller during '85 and early '86! It's pop, but with a surprisingly jazz touch that fit quite well on mainstream radio. My favorites are If You Love Someone, Set Them Free, Russians and others. I especially love Fortress Around Your Heart and its adventurous landscapes--I actually play that more than the larger hits he had from here. As always, Sting is a dynamic songwriter and he is in top form when it comes to the lyrics of these songs. So if you have been more into Sacred Heart of 2003 and his more recent songs, please make an effort to get this stellar album that he made in 1985. One of his finest works to date!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sting's best solo CD, June 4, 2001
By 
Marcell Orosz (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I own this album since it was released and I still think this is his best solo CD. I know Nothing Like The Sun has more hit singles than this but that doesn't count a bit. My favorite songs are Russians, Consider Me Gone, Dream Of The Blue Turtles and Fortress Around Your Heart. All the other songs are great, too. Every song has its own mood though all the songs are have some degree of melancholy - it's a trademark of Sting.
I think Sting managed here to bring some jazz into his music and here the jazz motives suit perfectly with the rest - some might say this is a jazz record though I don't think so. It still has some elements the remind me of the Police era, anyway this is a mature album.
However this CD isn't for first-time listeners, they should buy Nothing Like The Sun or Fields Of Gold, they will buy this CD later because Sting's music is addictive. Once you've listened to it you'll always have a craving for it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sting's debut masterpiece!, June 2, 2003
Face it, The Police's Synchronicity was a great album but simultaneously proved that they had reached a musical cul-de-sac. Sting's masterpiece debut solo album was evidence that he had saved his cleverest writing for himself, and it exceeds anything he did with the Police.
The upbeat pop of "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" originally described the danger in loving someone beyond sanity: "You can't control an independent heart" However, when Sting played this at the Amnesty International concerts, it took on a whole new meaning.
The idyllic bouncy calypso "Love Is The Seventh Wave" shows Sting's religious/philosophical side. He describes love as an ever-pervading wave that permeates into the material world: "Feel ir rising in the cities, feel it sweeping over land, over borders, over frontiers." His mention of the "still point" in "still point of destruction" may be a reference to what Buddha focused on when resisting tempatation.
It was only 1985, but the Cold War fears was still prevalent as evidenced in the gloomy but beautiful "Russians," my favourite song here. Sting equally criticizes both Soviets and Americans for fostering the Cold War. The bomb is referred to as "Oppenheimer's deadly toy." This song says so much that's true, but perhaps I can sum up with the refrain: "We share the same biology/regardless of ideology/What might save us me and you/is that the Russians love their children too." The melody is taken from "Romance" in Sergei Prokoviev's Lieutenant Kije Suite.
The grim "Children's Crusade" thematically ties in the flower of British youth slaughtered in WWI, "strewn on the fields of Belgium and France" with opium addicts in 1984 Soho thus: "The children of England would never be slaves/They're trapped on the wire and dying in waves/The flower of England face down in the mud/And stained in the blood of a whole generation." Love Branford's wailing sax solo!
A more jazzed up version of the Police's "Shadows In The Rain" follows, and I like this one better than the reggaeish one on Zenyatta Mondatta.
"We Work The Black Seam" tells the toil coal miners had to go through and the dangers of replacing fossil fuels with nuclear power: "One day in a nuclear age, they may understand our rage/They build machines that they can't control/and bury the waste in a great big hole."
"Consider Me Gone" details moral deterioration. Love these lines: "There were cupboards of patience/there were shelfloads of care/But whoever came calling found nobody there."
The playful instrumental title track is followed by the slow nighclub jazz "Moon Over Bourbon Street." It's about a vampire, as it was inspired by Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire. There's a classical bridge, with a lovely clarinet.
"Fortress Around Your Heart" about a quarreling couple, is a masterfully spun analogy of a woman's heart to a city besieged by heavy guns. However, the man's mind is also another battleground. The man realizes that reconciliation is the key: "And if I have built this fortress around your heart/encircled you in trenches and barbed wire/Then let me build a bridge, for I cannot fill the chasm/And let me set the battlements on fire."
What also makes this a winning album are the musicians present: Branford Marsalis on sax, Omar Hakim on drums, Darryl Jones on bass, Kenny Kirland on keyboards, and the two Afro-Britons, Dolette McDonald and Janet Pendarvis on backing vocals. Maybe it's because I saw them in the Bring On The Night movie and Sting's "If You Love Somebody" video. One of the greatest albums of the 1980's and that of Sting himself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album, November 11, 2004
By 
Dr Jeremy Buddle (Battery Point, Tasmania Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was one of the first albums I ever bought when, as a high school student, I was becoming interested in contemporary popular music in the years 1984-85. Sting had been enormously successful before this time with The Police (1978-84) and reappeared after a year or so away with this fantastic album in July 1985. Its first single was If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, which was a groovy somewhat jazzy uptempo track. Second single Fortress Around Your Heart was terrific - an evocative lyric about chasms, walled cities and dangerous, barren landscapes as metaphors for difficult emotional entanglements. This US #8 hit was one of my favourite tunes of the year. The jolly Love Is The Seventh Wave was a lighthearted fun song that I also liked - it reminds me of the summer of 1985-86. Sting toured widely at this time and scored a fourth hit with the classic song Russians. This was a famous tune about the then-pervasive Cold War divide between Russia and the West. Also dealing in political/social comment on First World War lament Children's Crusade and evils-of-mining lyric We Work The Black Seam, Sting managed to balance the shade with some light too: the rollicking Shadows In The Rain and the weird jazz instrumental title tune The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (complete with the band dissolving into laughter at the end !!). Sting howled at the Moon Over Bourbon Street in this interesting song, while Consider Me Gone was a good mid-paced song with a darker lyric.

Overall, this is really good, demostrating Sting's musical abilities and also showcasing fabulous jazz-world collaborators such as Omar Hakim, Branford Marsalis and the late Kenny Kirkland.

Highly Recommended.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An auspicious beginning to a fine solo career., February 16, 2004
By 
M J Heilbron Jr. "Dr. Mo" (Long Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
First, I'm a big Sting fan. Bigger Police fan. From way back, as they say.
When this album arrived, you should take it as a huge compliment that I didn't hate him for breaking up my favorite band. I liked it. And as I have grown up, I have also grown to love it.
"If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free" was the album's first single, and as singles go, it's fine. The tune lets the listener know that Sting would be incorporating his beloved jazz into the modern pop form. He turned a greeting card slogan into a Top Ten single without embarrassing himself.
"Love Is The Seventh Wave" is a joyous singalong, with a lilting reggae beat. Of note, here he starts echoing old songs in his fadeouts, usually one per album. Listen for the lyrical snips from "Every Breath You Take" and smile.
Sting has always been vocal about his political positions, routinely getting lambasted by the press and public. With "Russians", his point is simple, and hardly arguable...being that he hopes the Russians love their children too. Yes it's overdone and hamfisted, but here's a guy saying exactly what he thinks in a very clear manner, getting the "message to the masses".
There are three mini-movies on the album. 'Children's Crusade" somehow blends images from WW1 with modern day drug abuse scenarios, and it works. This is also significant for being an early example of the intricate tempo changes Sting for which he has a penchant.
"We Work The Black Seam" empathizes with the plight of miners, and the percussive, xylophone-like motif mimics the repetitive mechanical motion of marching, hammering, bearing heavy loads of coal...it's vivid.
"Moon Over Bourbon Street", inspired, as Sting reveals in his liner notes, from "Interview With A Vampire" is a real treat. It's a tale well told, to perfect musical accompaniment. Sting becomes the vampire, albeit one who plays a stand-up bass.
"Consider Me Gone" is a slight jazzy meander, a piffle; "The Dream of The Blue Turtles" a brief comic instrumental.
With "Shadows In The Rain", he revamps a song off "Zenyatta Mondatta", to it's definite benefit. However, that doesn't say much, because it was a weak drone of a tune to begin with.
The album closes with a soaring pop song, "Fortress Around Your Heart", containing the trademark airy choruses, crisp guitar and dense instrumentation of a great "Synchronicity" outtake. Maybe he saved this one for himself.
There is much to like here. Overall, it's not THAT different from the last Police record, but it clearly points the way to Sting's further musical direction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first album is first rate, July 2, 2000
I first owned this on vinyl, then on tape, now on CD. It is totally excellent! Some songs may seem dated, such as "Russians" which deals with the tensions that existed between the U.S. and Russian in the Regan Whitehouse era, but it's still a haunting reminder of the threat of nuclear warfare...while the song "A Children's Crusade" further exacerbates the tension of the effect of war on the innocent. This disc rocks... you can listen to it front to back, over and over again. If you're a fan of Dave Matthews, you'll hear some familiar sounds in "The Dream of the Blue Turtles" and "Consider Me Gone." An excellent collection of work.
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